Near-Earth Object, Too Close for Comfort

From the NYT report on the Siberia meteor:

“I opened the window from surprise — there was such heat coming in, as if it were summer in the yard, and then I watched as the flash flew by and turned into a dot somewhere over the forest,” wrote Darya Frenn, a blogger. “And in several seconds there was an explosion of such force that the window flew in along with its frame, the monitor fell, and everything that was on the desk.”

“God forbid you should ever have to experience anything like this,” she wrote.

[ . . . ]

Valentina Nikolayeva, a teacher in Chelyabinsk, described it as “an unreal light” that filled all the classrooms on one side of School No. 15.

“It was a light which never happens in life, it happens probably only in the end of the world,” she said in a clip posted on a news portal, LifeNews.ru. She said she saw a vapor trail, like one that appears after an airplane, only dozens of times bigger. “The light was coming from there. Then the light went out and the trail began to change. The changes were taking place within it, like in the clouds, because of the wind. It began to shrink and then, a minute later, an explosion.”

“A shock wave,” she said. “It was not clear what it was but we were deafened at that moment. The window glass flew.”

I can’t imagine witnessing something like this. If I had seen this with my own eyes where I live, particularly when I was living in DC, I believe I would have immediately assumed it was a weapon, that we were being attacked, that we may be about to die.

I almost can’t believe there wasn’t total panic in Chelyabinsk. Those Russians are made of stern stuff.

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12 thoughts on “Near-Earth Object, Too Close for Comfort

  1. Those Russians have been through all kinds of crap (see: WWII, USSR, various revolutions…), especially in the more rural areas. A few damaged buildings and several injured people? Not worth a panic. Worry, yes, anxiety, yes – but panic? Nah.

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  2. In reading this, I was reminded of your previous blog and made a connection I hadn’t previously made. Here’s an additional mental exercise: imagine that you are in Yemen or Pakistan, and it actually is a weapon…

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  3. Reminds me of the 2010: A Spcae Odyssey – Space object tracking was increased after an object wiped out Rome and all the Austrians went deaf

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  4. If I had seen this with my own eyes where I live, particularly when I was living in DC, I believe I would have immediately assumed it was a weapon

    By the most random circumstance, I happened to see a de-orbiting satellite many years ago which freaked me out to no end for about fifteen minutes. It was also visually spectacular, but nothing like the bolide in question.
    It may be interesting to note that a crank Russian politician claimed that this meteor was a weapons test by the US. And that during the Cold War, far less had put Russia on an emergency war footing.

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    • Zhirionovsky or summin’ like that? Right wing Russian nationalist clown.
      Your Spelling May Vary.

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  5. I almost can’t believe there wasn’t total panic in Chelyabinsk. Those Russians are made of stern stuff.

    Not all. One report from Russia Today said there were a bunch of “end of the world” nutbags coming out of the woodwork. And RT were themselves guilty of playing that up – note the headline, “apocalypse now”.

    On that same RT report, one vlogger shown was Michael Garnett who plays for the KHL team in Chelyabinsk. He said that his and several of his teammates’ homes were rattled.

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  6. Reminds me of the 2010: A Spcae Odyssey – Space object tracking was increased after an object wiped out Rome and all the Austrians went deaf
    ITYM “Rendezvous with Rama.”

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